Skip to main content

PhD Program

PHD HANDBOOK

Supervision

Doctoral committees must consist of at least four members (two members must have graduate faculty status at BYU and two members may be petitioned). The chair of the graduate committee, or graduate advisor, must be from the student’s major department. The committee is formed and submitted at the same time the student's Program of Study is created.

Receive Biannual Evaluations

The progress of each graduate student will be evaluated twice each year, in January and September. The student’s graduate committee chair rates each student as making satisfactory, marginal, or unsatisfactory progress. The committee chair may consult with other members of the graduate committee when determining this rating. The committee chair reports the student’s progress to the graduate advisor. Students whose progress is rated as marginal or unsatisfactory will receive notification to meet with their graduate advisor and sign the evaluation.

The evaluation given to a student will include:

  • Specific tasks the student must complete in order to maintain or regain a satisfactory rating
  • Clear deadlines established for each of the specified tasks
  • A recommendation of faculty member(s) they can contact for more information or support

Marginal progress may include the following:

  • Failure to submit a Program of Study and establish a graduate committee by the end of first semester
  • Failure to submit a prospectus by the end of second semester
  • Poor performance in research or registering for thesis hours when little or no work has been performed • Minimal contact with the committee chair

Unsatisfactory progress may include the following:

  • Failure to submit a Program of Study since prior evaluation
  • Failure to submit a prospectus since prior evaluation
  • Failure to resolve any problems or fulfill any requirements indicated in a previous marginal or unsatisfactory review
  • Minimal or no contact with the committee chair
  • Poor performance in research or registering for thesis hours when little or no work has been performed • Program of Study GPA below 3.0 or Program of Study course grade below 2.0
  • Unacceptable ethical or professional behavior

If a student receives a marginal or unsatisfactory rating and has not improved his or her performance in accordance with the actions outlined on a previous evaluation, by the time of the next evaluation, the student should meet with his committee chair to determine possible recourse, if any, to termination. The biannual evaluation is used by the department to satisfy criteria for continuing funding. It is also used by the BYU Financial Aid Department to determine eligibility for financial aid.

A student receiving two consecutive marginal and/or unsatisfactory student evaluation ratings will be terminated.

Program of Study and Course Work

The Program of Study is a carefully considered plan which identifies the student’s major, lists all courses required, and designates the graduate committee. Each Program of Study must meet the minimum university degree requirements and all the requirements as explained below. Necessary changes in a student’s program or committee can be made if authorized by the student’s committee and department graduate coordinator. Students must submit a program of study on GradProg during the first year in the doctoral program, with completion no later than the third week of the beginning of the second year.

Fifty-four (54) hours of course work.
A 3.4 cumulative GPA must be maintained.
These hours include:

  • 18 Hours of graduate course work (may not include any 100-499 level courses)
  • 18 Hours doctoral dissertation (CEEn 799R)
  • 18 Hours of graduate course work transferred from the master’s degree (500+level).

These hours may not include:

  • Any courses with D or E grades
  • Any skill requirement courses (as required by committee). These additional skills courses may include advanced math, statistics, and science (300 and above). All science courses must be outside of the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department.
  • Any course credit applied to a BS degree
  • More than 7 hours of transfer or non-degree courses from another university (Transfer and non-degree credit must be from graduate level courses and have a grade of B or better.) Approval from Graduate Coordinator is required.

Students Without a Master’s Degree

Fifty-four (54) hours of course work
A 3.4 cumulative GPA must be maintained.
These hours include:

  • 36 hours of graduate course work (may not include any 100-499 level courses)
  • 18 hours of doctoral dissertation (CEEn 799R)

These hours may not include:

  • Any courses with D or E grades
  • Any skill requirement courses (as required by committee). These additional skills courses may include advanced math, statistics, and science (300 and above). All science courses must be outside of the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department.
  • Any course credit applied to a BS degree
  • More than 7 hours of transfer or non-degree courses from another university. (Transfer and non-degree credit must be from graduate level courses and have a grade of B or better.) Approval from Graduate Coordinator is required.

PhD without CEEn Bachelors

Students who do not have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering will have to fill all of the criteria outlined below. In addition, the following are recommended guidelines. Upon admittance, students are required to form a graduate committee and work with them to finalize CE foundation requirements.

Foundation Requirement

Students must complete the equivalent of the following courses at BYU or another institution:

CEEn Courses

  • CEEn 103 (3 hrs) Engineering Mechanics--Statics
  • CEEn 203 (3 hrs) Engineering Mechanics of Materials
  • CEEn 270 (3 hrs) Numerical Methods in Civil Engineering
  • CEEn 321 (3 hrs) Structural Analysis
  • CEEn 332 (3 hrs) Hydraulic and Fluid Flow Theory

Basic Math

  • Math 112 (4 hrs) Calculus 1
  • Math 113 (4 hrs) Calculus 2

Advanced Math:

  • Option (1)
    • Math 302 (4 hrs) Mathematics for Engineering 1
    • Math 303 (4 hrs) Mathematics for Engineering 2
  • Option (2)
    • Math 313 (3 hrs) Elementary Linear Algebra
    • Math 314 (3 hrs) Calculus of Several Variables
    • Math 334 (3 hrs) Ordinary Differential Equations

Working with their graduate committee, students may be required to choose one of the options below and complete some or all of the required courses listed in the Options table (and any prerequisites to these courses). These courses may be taken at BYU or transferred from another institution.

  • Option (1) Structures and structural mechanics
  • Option (2) Transportation
  • Option (3) Water Resources and Environmental
  • Option (4) Geotechnical
OPTIONS
1
2
3
4
CEEN 204
(3 HRS)
ENGINEERING MECHANICS--DYNAMICS
X
X
CEEN 341
(3 HRS)
ELEMENTARY SOIL MECHANICS
X
X
CEEN 361
(3 HRS)
HIGHWAY ENGINEERING
X
CEEN 421
(3 HRS)
STEEL DESIGN*
X
CEEN 424
(3 HRS)
REINFORCED CONCRETE DESIGN*
X
X
CEEN 431
(3 HRS)
HYDROLOGY
X
CEEN 433
(3 HRS)
HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING
X


*Steel Design or Reinforced Concrete Design for structure emphasis

Study List Courses

  • 18 hours dissertation (CEEn 799R)
  • 18 hours transfer from Masters (for Masters students)
  • Balance of 18 hours in 500+ elective hours

Oral Prospectus Defense / Oral Examination

The student will spend approximately one-half hour presenting his or her prospectus and approximately one-half hour receiving counsel from the advisory committee. The student will be judged on mastery of the pertinent literature and on the quality of the prospectus. The advisory committee may require revisions to the prospectus and/or another oral prospectus defense.

No comprehensive qualifying examination if required. However, an oral examination is given in conjunction with the prospectus defense. Oral examination questions may be related to course work completed in addition to those related to the research topic.

In no case will a doctoral degree be awarded sooner than one year from the completion of the prospectus requirement.

PhD Dissertation Defense

The oral dissertation defense is to be made to the advisory committee although additional faculty or others may be in attendance. Draft copies of the dissertation must be distributed to the examining committee at least two weeks prior to the oral dissertation defense.

In the oral dissertation defense, the student will spend approximately one hour presenting the dissertation work and approximately one hour responding to questions from the examining committee. The student will be judged on mastery of the dissertation subject area and on the quality of the dissertation work. The examining committee may vote as follows:

  1. Pass.
  2. Pass with qualification. In this case the student must complete the minor revisions or requirements specified by the committee to the satisfaction of the committee chair who then sends a written approval to the Office of Graduate Studies.
  3. Recess. In this case the student must pass a second and final oral dissertation defense from the same examining committee no sooner than one month later.
  4. Fail. In this case the graduate degree program of the student is terminated.

The Dissertation formatting must follow the guidelines found in ADV form 11

The format and content of the dissertation must meet the approval of the advisory committee. In addition the format must meet approved college specifications. After receiving college approval, students are required to order two bound copies of the dissertation, one for their committee chair and one for the CE department. The designated colors are blue cover with gold lettering. Students may also order additional copies for their own use. All copies may be ordered through BYU Print and Mail Services online. Students are responsible for payment of all copies.

Electronic submission of Dissertation is required.

Link for electronic submission can be found here.

PhD Minimum Registration

Minimum Registration Requirement

  • International students must register for and complete at least 9 hours each Fall and Winter semester while at BYU.
  • Students must register for and complete at least 6 hours per academic year to be eligible to register the following year and to maintain an active graduate student status.
  • Students should be registered for a minimum of 2 hours whenever on campus using university facilities and receiving faculty advisement.
  • Students must pay for a minimum of 2 hours of credit in the semester in which graduation takes place or the dissertation is defended.
  • Students must register for at least two consecutive 6-hour semesters on campus.
  • The doctoral degree must be completed within 8 years of admission to the doctoral program at BYU.

Graduation

  • To apply for graduation students can go to the BYU Graduate Studies Home page http://gradstudies.byu.edu/page/graduation.
  • The scheduling of the dissertation defense must be submitted to the graduate program manager at least two weeks prior to the oral dissertation defense.